6 Tips to Germ Proof your Child

Germs are inevitable and natural, however most experts agree that teaching your children healthy habits can help keep the doctor away.

"Germs are everywhere, and we can't, and shouldn't, try to keep our kids completely germ-free," says Harley A. Rotbart, MD, vice chairman of pediatrics at Children's Colorado. "But commonsense approaches can help us cut our kids' annual sick days in half and keep families healthier."

Below are popular places where germs can be found and tips to keep your children as germ-free as possible:

  • Public restrooms (toilet paper and paper towels serve many purposes)- Encourage your child to cover the toilet handle with toilet paper before flushing, the same method can be applied when locking/unlocking stall doors. Teach your child to use a paper towel to open the bathroom door when leaving a public restroom.
  • Community pools- Discourage kids from swallowing pool water or squirting it from their mouth. Also, be sure to take frequent bathroom breaks.
  • Your child's sporting events- After the end of game hand shake, whip out the alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Your home-  To avoid transmitting viruses to other family members, take this advice from Dr. Rotbart: "Stash a bottle by the door of your sick child's room to use when leaving. Disinfect any frequently touched surfaces or objects, such as crib rails, dresser-drawer handles, hard plastic toys, doorknobs, and light switches. As a temporary measure, use paper towels in the bathroom and kitchen instead of hand towels. And don't allow your children to share drinking glasses, water bottles, or toothbrushes." 
  • Playground- Avoid letting your child eat or drink while in the sandbox and always wash hands before and after playground time.
  • Grocery store- Try and carry disinfectant wipes, they are now being offered more frequently at the front of many grocery stores. Wipe down grocery cart handles.

Read more about how to germ proof life.